“Aljibe” Arab water storage well
Fiñana - Almería

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The large water storage well is linked to the old Alcazaba. It would be found within the walled zone of the slum quarter, but outside the second fortified compound.

It is made up of a water deposit made from slate slabs covered with waterproof lime mortar. It is covered by a barrel vault constructed with slate slabs, in which ventilation skylights open to provide oxygen. There are authors who maintain they could be Arab baths.

The dating is uncertain, although it could date back to around the 14th century.

As well as from rain and snow, the waters the cistern received came from channelling outside the walls from the mountains via a system of irrigation canals, of which part is still preserved. The rain waters entered the cistern through a spout in the street above.

In the collective memory of Fiñana, if we go back in time we find that the cistern was always open so that any of the inhabitants could use the water which accumulated there for their domestic tasks, for building or for cleaning their belongings.

After it fell into disuse it filled up with rubble and waste until it was restored and its importance was highlighted as an important part of Fiñana’s history and heritage.

The cistern was used until 1969, although with the sale in 1960 of the two hours of water which it had by right from the Sierra Nevada Ravine, it lost its importance, only receiving rainwater.

In 1970 drinking water arrived in this Alcazaba neighbourhood and everything changed. The cistern was blocked by the water and it was even used as an animal pen for many years.

In its work to recover the historic heritage and monuments, Fiñana Council carried out the restoration of the cistern in 2001, for which it had the collaboration of the Junta de Andalucía Regional Culture Ministry and National Parks.

From then until today, the Arab cistern has become a unique space in which different cultural activities have been staged, such as painting exhibitions, musical performances and summer courses.

It is noteworthy that it was not the only cistern in the fortification. There is another smaller and older one in the second compound in the governors’ residential area. It is located in a house to the left of the entrance to the tower visit.